Archive for the ‘Civil liberties’ Category

“Rights activists”

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Those of us who defend and extol the free market (and even dare to call it "capitalism" sometimes) know all too well how derisive and disdainful the left can be toward the term "free market" and all that it entails. If we ever invoke the "free market" as a proposal ...

Thirteen miscellaneous thoughts on the Hobby Lobby case and the reactions to it

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

"To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." —Thomas Jefferson Other than the absurd necessity (and apparent futility) of explaining that a government's failure to mandate something doesn't equate to outlawing it, nor does it enable other people or ...

Hobby Lobby, religious freedom, and contraceptive mandates

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

In my sporadic research on the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case (and a basically identical case brought by Conestoga Wood Specialties, a Pennsylvania company owned by Mennonites), in which the companies argue that they should not be forced to pay for employee health insurance that covers contraceptives and thus violates ...

Student protests, free assocation, and free market

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Aditya Chakrabortty writes a chilling column on the efforts by British universities and local police departments to crack down on student protests and other demonstrations. It's hard to imagine there's an advanced, Western society in which human beings' freedom to assemble and demonstrate—peacefully, by the way—is so readily and blatantly ...

NSA apologists are proven wrong over and over and over again

Friday, August 9th, 2013

The people who have excused, defended, rationalized, and given the benefit of the doubt to the U.S. government and the NSA since Glenn Greenwald began publishing Edward Snowden's leaks are looking more and more pathetic with every new revelation. If nothing else, this shows that you can rarely go wrong ...

Whose rights, specifically, have been violated by NSA?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

That is a question I've encountered more often than I expected in the social-mediasphere and in the comments to articles written by Glenn Greenwald and others. These skeptics say: Is the National Security Agency's surveillance really excessive or over-reaching if it hasn't actually been used to violate anyone's rights or ...

Michael Hastings isn’t surprised by the Democrats, and you shouldn’t be, either

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

On June 7, Michael Hastings tore into the Democrats in Washington for being as terrible on civil liberties as they have revealed themselves to be and for apparently being nothing more than opportunistic Bush bashers when they used his awful civil liberties record to win big in 2006 and 2008. ...

The Obama administration’s selective prosecution of leakers

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

In his excellent column Edward Snowden and the selective targeting of leaks, Jack Shafer details several leaks of formerly classified information by the Bush and Obama administrations and points out that these administrations—indeed, all administrations—are hypocritical because they want to prosecute lower-level, less influential, less powerful people when they leak ...

How is anyone surprised by the Democrats?

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Liberal commentators all around the internet, both professional and amateur, were fuming earlier this week in response to Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster to block the confirmation of John Brennan for CIA director. But interestingly, many of them weren't going after Paul but rather were expressing disappointment and shame at liberal ...

The coming ban on semi-automatic rifles

Monday, December 17th, 2012

I expect Congress and President Obama to pass some form of ban or stricter federal law against semi-automatic weapons and/or "assault rifles" in the next few months. I'm sure many Americans strongly support such a ban now, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, if they didn't before. It's easy ...

David Brin on freedom, governments, and the internet

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

In his post A Threat to the Internet as We Know It, science-fiction author, scientist, and futurist David Brin writes about the recent United Nations summit and the threats to internet freedom that it portended: A United Nations summit has adopted confidential recommendations proposed by China that will help network providers ...

Greenwald on the deification of Democrats and villification of Republicans

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Glenn Greenwald's column Obama: a GOP president should have rules limiting the kill list must be my favorite political writing that I've read in years. It expresses why I'm so frustrated and fed up with liberals and their Democratic politicians better than I ever could have, so I'll just quote ...